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Apr, 17 2011

WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A SUCCESSFUL FRANCHISOR

Franchising is not only about being at the right place, at the right time with the right product or service but more. It takes lot many additional vital qualities to become a successful franchisor.

APART from regular entrepreneurial qualities, which normally exist in successful business owners, the dynamics of a business changes when it comes to franchising. Here are some qualities which can make you more success than others.

Clarity of vision

Before developing an elaborate marketing plan, allocating budget for franchising, having a franchising team in place, putting together all other documentations such as the franchise operational manual or legal agreement, the franchisor should have a clear vision on where he would like to reach in the next five years. An elaborate business and financial plan that details the rationale behind the franchising decision, its financial feasibility and clarity on how the brand will be positioned is essential. A clear vision not only helps in executing expansion plans and inspiring one's team but also transcends into a great franchise.

Awareness, ability to inspire and adaptability

High awareness of business operations as well as franchising would result in better decision-making by the franchisor. Since the franchisor is the main decision-maker on how to operate a business, he needs to demonstrate leadership in terms of product, service, system and process innovations. It is essential that the franchisor is aware of what other players are doing in the field he operates in as well as market trends and customer preferences.

The franchisor must be able to inspire all types of stakeholders in his business, including internal team members, franchise and other business partners, so that they believe in the proposed business model and mode of operation. Generalisation of target customer segments, service and outlet/store/ centre ambience is required to define various parameters. The organisation may then have to devise different ways of approaching issues such as regional and locational constraints.

Brand-building, agility in execution

Initial years of franchising are not about profits but about brand-building. Marketing expenses is a long-term investment and not a sunk cost. Realising the importance of creating a brand and understanding its value is important for a franchisor. It is also important to do the initial brand-building process swiftly.

The business must also develop capabilities, in terms of manpower, manufacturing and sourcing, or marketing to respond to unexpected business situations, both positive and negative.

Having right people on board

Franchisors have a tendency to optimise their utilisation of manpower or employ most personnel for internal consumption. However, for long-term sustainability of the franchise network, a balanced allocation is preferred. While executing the franchise plan, the franchisor must recruit specific talent to execute the plan with clearly defined roles.

Leveraging various platforms

Innovation in technology and business processes has given opportunities for entrepreneurs to reach investors and customers in economical and effective ways. Platforms such as social networking sites, the internet, etc offer means of connecting with the youth economically. Franchisors can connect with investors through relevant databases, exhibitions, print media, etc. Effective use of these platforms, depending on target customer and investor groups, is vital to be successful.

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